Things I Learned from R. B. … August 23rd, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Episode 29

While I was waiting for a member of R. B.’s family to arrive, to assist in care and making decisions, I made a practice of visiting him once a day.

It was not easy.

He had convinced himself that I had placed him in this institution, and that it was I, and I alone, who had the power to release him.

The spread of the cancer had left him weak, sallow and embittered. It was difficult to ascertain what parts of his actions were real, what parts were brought on by drug interactions, and what portions that were conjured from the horrors of the disease itself.

“I thought you’d die first,” he said to me.

It became a recurring theme.

He looked at me and then at himself, and wondered why, with all of my obesity, I was still living and he, who was slender, was on the verge of demise.

He wanted to blame God.

But mostly he wanted to blame me.

Even though he felt that I had been generous to him, he insisted that I had withheld just enough to keep him from true success and happiness. He lamented following me all over the country and spoke disparagingly of our adventures.

I started to wonder why I was putting myself through this daily bombardment of accusations. But deep in my soul, however, I knew that at this present moment, I was all R. B. had.

However, it was a little too much for the other members of my family. To their credit, many of them were able to set aside some time to visit R. B. and listen to his ramblings, but no one was willing to take on the daily duty.

About a week after we put him into the lovely hospice, it was decided by the federal government that R. B. did not qualify for this particular home, so he was moved to a less expensive one down the road.

It had less of everything.

Even less hope.

R. B. was about ready to explode with anger—when family showed up from Rhode Island. It was just his younger brother, Johnny. Johnny was quite different from R. B. Johnny was glib, filled with stories, and fancied himself to be humorous. Johnny was curious.

R. B. was glad to see him, but Johnny did little to bolster the dying man’s will to live.

He joked about death.

He joked about how cheap R. B. was.

He even joked about the fact that he had pulled the short straw with their family—which was the only reason he had made the journey.

He did it all in a spirit of jest, and R. B. seemed to laugh along. Matter of fact, the arrival of Johnny was the best thing that had happened to R. B. for several months.

I stood back at a distance and remained supportive. Johnny jumped in, took over R. B.’s finances, living quarters and car. I was a trifle uncomfortable with some of it, but then rebuked myself since it really wasn’t my business.

Everything seemed to be going along pretty well until late one night, when I got a phone call from Johnny.

Emotional Cabbage… February 22, 2013

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cabbageI had to laugh. The slender young woman on the television set was explaining that the key to weight loss was portion control.

Of course, dear friends, if I could control my portions, I wouldn’t be a big fat boy, now, would I? If I was able to put less food on my plate and convince myself that I was satisfied, I would certainly be slim. Unfortunately, I can’t do that.

So the key to my weight loss is to trick my body into believing that I am eating just as much as I was before–but making sure that all that food going into my mouth is much healthier and has many fewer calories.

Casseroles help–just taking a baking dish and throwing in a whole bunch of stuff that looks delicious, cooking it up together and knowing that you will be able to fill your plate up just like you used to, but with about one-third the calories.

And one particular thing to add to that goulash is cabbage. It is a great filler, it is absent calories and aside from adding a little gas to your diet, it makes your plate of goodies look robust and full.

Yes–the key to weight loss is to change the amount of calories without changing your desire to enjoy good food.

Of course, the body is not that different from the human emotions. Everyday of our lives, we need confirmation of our status, reinforcement of our ego and encouragement of our pursuit of happiness. If we don’t have this we will start getting depressed, fussy and critical of other people who seem to be improving their lives while we are standing still.

So just as you need cabbage in your casserole to make your dinner seem like bounty, each and every one of us needs emotional cabbage added to our everyday, repetitive chores, to make us feel full of passion. Without this, we start feeling starved and cheated, stealing dignity from other people to make ourselves look better.

So what is emotional cabbage? Every day we need:

1. An opportunity to use our talent. That may sound silly, but most individuals work a job and perform duties that have very little to do with their actual talent. It is something they have learned to accomplish to make a living, but their heart’s desire lies in other areas. If your quest is not being pursued daily in some kind of opportunity you have created for yourself, be prepared to go to bed feeling a little emotionally empty. Each and every twenty-four hours, we need an opportunity to use our REAL talent.

2. To keep that emotional cabbage churning, you also need a challenge to that same talent. Repetition–even of good things–often makes us believe we are spinning our wheels, going nowhere. We require a challenge–because a challenge gives us two very important things. It puts our abilities to the test and secondly, it gives us the chance to celebrate our victories and correct our mistakes.

3. And finally, to have emotional cabbage in your life, you need a good, hearty, DAILY cleansing laugh. It may sound silly, but I will tell you this–if you are seeking an opportunity to use your talent and you are challenging your talent, many funny things will come your way. Laugh. Good cheer is when your whole being confesses that nothing is too serious to ever bring you down.

I call it emotional cabbage. Without it, we feel hungry for more, even when we’re too exhausted to do anything else.

  • An opportunity to use your talent
  • A challenge to your talent
  • And a good laugh

It will keep you pure in your heart. It will make you believe that good things are possible. It will create a loving spirit.

It will make you valuable to your fellow-man.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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